PNGTrees – Symplocos cochinchinensis subsp. leptophylla var. leptophylla (Brand) Noot.
Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Copyright held by the authors, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium
Leiden Botanical Series Vol. 1: 162 (1975)
Field Characters: Small trees 15 m high. Bole cylindrical 15 cm diam.; crooked bole 10 m long; buttresses absent; spines absent; aerial roots absent; stilt roots absent. Bark brown, rough, pustular; lenticels irregular; subrhytidome pale green; bark thickness <25 mm thick, 5.0 mm thick; blaze consisting of one layer; strongly aromatic; pleasant; outer blaze white or pale yellow cream-coloured, speckled, fibrous; inner blaze white or pale yellow cream-coloured, speckled, fibrous; exudate present, colourless, spotty, not changing colour on exposure to air, not sticky. Terminal buds not enclosed by leaves; complex hairs absent; stinging hairs absent; mature twig without hairs.
Leaves: Spaced along branches <internodes readily visible>. Leaves spiral, simple; petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade <not peltate>, not swollen; lamina broadest at or near middle, 7.5-15.0 cm long, 2.5-5.0 (-9.0) cm wide; lamina symmetric, margin entire, not dissected or lobed, venation pinnate <secondary veins arising from the midrib along its length>, secondary veins open <spaced far apart to easily see tertiary veins>, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; lower surface pale green, upper surface blue-green, hairs present, sparse on lower surface; oil dots absent; domatia absent; stipules absent.
Flowers: Inflorescence axillary <from between a leaf and branch>. Flowers on a branched axis; flowers bisexual, shortly stalked c. 1 mm long, with many planes of symmetry <actinomorphic> ovary inferior <seated below the petals and sepals; epigenous>, carpels joined (when more than one) <syncarpous>.
Distribution: Morobe, Western, Manus, New Ireland, New Britain, Papuan Islands, Milne Bay, Northern, Madang, West Sepik, Southern Highlands, Central, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands & East Sepik.
in PNGplants database
Notes: Symplocos cochinchinensis is regarded as an extremely variable species. A taxonomic re-evaluation of the taxonomy of this species is urgently required because the amount of variation makes it difficult to identify the different subspecies and varieties occur within Papua New Guinea. with respect to this plant, the amount of morphological variation currently included in S. cochinchinensis subsp. leptophylla and within var. leptophylla makes it extremely difficult to define the characteristics of this plant.
The variant that was collected from Mt Wilhelm represents the longer and broader leaf form (8.5-12 cm long; 5-5.5 mm wide) that appeaars to be common in the Western Highlands Province.